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New York Court Records

New York court records are readily available online and can be useful to the public, lawyers and students alike. The ease of now finding something on the Internet versus tracking down individual documents in person is appealing to many who search court records for understanding a statute before filing a new case, educating the searcher on a legal matter that may be similar to their own circumstances, as well as to satisfy the curiosity of a genealogist looking for vital records.

New York, a densely populated state, has a unique judiciary structure to accommodate the heavy caseload of many people living in one area. Both civil and criminal courts are structured in a similar way with courts of original instance, intermediate appellate courts, Court of Appeals and Appellate divisions of the Supreme Court.

New York Court Records

History of New York Courts

In 1896 the New York State Constitution created four regional Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court. This is unique to the state as it ranks the Supreme Court as intermediate appellate courts and the Court of Appeals, established in 1847 as the court of last resort.

The Historical Society of the New York Courts have worked tirelessly to preserve the court records of their state by compiling records of the Court of Appeals from a period of 1847 to 1997. In addition to that, the organization hosts an online informative website on New York legal history.

New York Court Statistics

New York Courts recieve 3,642,250 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 3,962,433 filings and gave 3,718,292 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 3,349,318 filings and had 3,265,526 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 3,962,433
2013 3,846,652
2014 3,616,025
2015 3,436,824
2016 3,349,318

New York Court Records Availability

In New York, you may make a request for a court record directly from the Clerk of the Court or the County Court that maintains the record. To conduct a search online for criminal or civil court records, you may search by index number, party name, attorney or legal firm, even by judge.

The legislative history made available through websites, law libraries and from Clerks of the Court allows the searcher to have a wide scope of judiciary information from each type of court.

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 790,195 (23.6 %)
Domestic Relations: 570,709 (17.0 %)
Criminal: 567,513 (16.9 %)
Civil: 1,420,901 (42.4 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 718,668 (22.0 %)
Domestic Relations: 586,847 (18.0 %)
Criminal: 581,314 (17.8 %)
Civil: 1,378,697 (42.2 %)

New York Main Court Information

New York’s court structure is unique and expansive as there are a combined 4 million cases seen annually in the state’s 62 counties. The Courts of Original Instance are the lower courts of the state and include City Courts, Town Courts and Village Courts. Along the same infrastructure of the court system are Criminal, District and Civil Courts. To further break down the influx of caseload, there are additional courts at this same lower level, they are: County Courts, Supreme Courts, Surrogate’s Courts, Family Courts, and Courts of Claim.

The next highest jurisdictions of the structure of courts in New York are the Intermediate Appellate Courts. In Civil Court there are two of them, the Appellate Terms of the Supreme Court 1st and 2nd Departments and the County Courts. The Criminal Court structure is slightly different as it also includes the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court with the previously mentioned two.

And finally the last two courts of resort for the Civil Court structure of New York are the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court, and the highest court, the Court of Appeals. For Criminal Court, the Court of Appeals is the last resort.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of New York at year end 2016 has decreased by 13.5% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 647,475 with a rate of 3,308 cases per 100,000 population, higher than it's in 2016.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2012 647,475 3,962,433
2013 643,960 3,846,652
2014 597,642 3,616,025
2015 590,393 3,436,824
2016 570,709 3,349,318

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

Year Incoming Caseload Outgoing Caseload Caseload per 100,000 Population
2012 647,475 649,916 3,308
2013 643,960 639,877 3,277
2014 597,642 611,139 3,027
2015 590,393 587,998 2,982
2016 570,709 586,847 2,890

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than New York

There are no states with more Domestic Relations cases than New York

Less Domestic Relations Cases than New York:

State: Caseload:
Texas 397,468
California 388,903
Pennsylvania 342,163
Virginia 342,040
New Jersey 247,042

New York Caseload Statistics

In 2013 the highest court of the state of New York, the Court of Appeals had 1,923 filings and of those there were 1,633 dispositions issued. Statewide there is an average of over 4 million court cases in New York annually.

New York Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in New York counts 88,819.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2012 715,046 96,721 286,385
2014 655,345 92,244 260,048

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 140,339 cases, it went from 1,561,240 to 1,420,901 with clearance rates of 92% and 97%.

Year Civil Caseload Clearance Rate
2012 1,561,240 92
2013 1,539,950 93
2014 1,459,985 90
2015 1,419,459 92
2016 1,420,901 97